Saysutshun is a family-friendly island park located just off Nanaimo and is accessible only by boat or foot passenger ferry.

Saysutshun is a family-friendly island park located just off Nanaimo and is accessible only by boat or foot passenger ferry.

Discover Saysutshun: Heritage, culture and natural beauty off Nanaimo’s waterfront

Visitors to central Vancouver Island have a new destination to include on their itinerary with the reopening of Saysutshun (Au’ si:em siyeyu), the Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park.

Known as Saysutshun by the Snuneymuxw First Nation people, this family-friendly park is located just off shore of Nanaimo and is accessible only by boat or foot passenger ferry, with the peak season schedule through through Sept. 7. The ferry leaves from Muffeo-Sutton Park every half-hour between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and until 7 p.m. Friday to Sunday. (Check back later for shoulder and low-season schedule.)

Saysutshun offers a unique natural, historical and cultural experience.

Saysutshun offers a unique natural, historical and cultural experience.

With no cars on the island, the you’ll enjoy a peaceful escape ideal for a day full of exploring or an overnight camping adventure.

Offering a unique natural, historical and cultural experience, Saysutshun has had a special place in the hearts of the Snuneymuxw people for generations. Here’s a look at what’s waiting for visitors:

  • Join your knowledgeable guide for a walking tour, then enjoy a traditional salmon barbecue to learn more about the unique culture of the Snuneymuxw people. (Saysutshun means “training for running’ and refers to the special places where runners, canoe paddlers or warriors would bathe to cleanse themselves before a race or battle.)
  • Hike or bike the island’s trails, taking in panoramic views of the Salish Sea and Coastal Mountains.
  • Explore the tidal pools, kayak or swim along island beaches and check out some of the many historic sites, including Snuneymuxw village locations, sandstone quarries, fish saltery and coal mine sites.
  • Enjoy the beautiful sunrise and calming sounds of the Salish Sea while you camp with your friends, family or large group at the beautiful oceanside campground.
  • Wake up to the Salish Sea! Saysutshun’s 18 walk-in campsites are located in a quiet forested area just five minutes from the docks. Potable water is available along with flush and pit toilets, hot showers and food lockers. Sites are available on a first-come first-served basis, but reservations are highly recommended – book through BC Parks’ online reservation system.

Travel details:

Dogs are welcome on the island, but must be leashed at all times. You’re also encouraged to bring a bicycle or camping equipment (there is a nominal ferry charge for these additional items).

For those arriving via their own vessel, berthing facilities are available by mooring buoy in Mark Bay and at the dock.

Learn more and plan your visit at

British ColumbiaCanadaFamily activitiesIndigenous tourismThings to dotravel

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island University organizations are raising awareness about gender-based violence during 16 Days of Activism, which includes the Red Dress Project hosted by VIUSU that aims to honour the memory of Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. (Vancouver Island University photo)
City proclamation calls on Nanaimo to unite to end violence against women

16 Days of Activism campaign started Nov. 25, continues to Dec. 10

The Nanaimo Rona location. (News Bulletin photo)
Rona home improvement store in Nanaimo advises customers that worker has COVID-19

Store re-opened Sunday after being closed for cleaning Saturday

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

Const. Joshua Waltman brings knowledge gained from working with people experiencing homelessness in Surrey to his new role as the RCMP’s mental health liaison officer in Nanaimo where he will work with people from across society who find themselves struggling with mental health crisis. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo RCMP’s mental health liaison says his role will take persistence and resilience

Const. Joshua Waltman talks about limiting anxiety and gaining trust of people in mental crises

Two drivers were taken to hospital with unknown injuries after a hatchback and a convertible collided on the old Island Highway at Oliver Road on Saturday afternoon. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Drivers taken to hospital after T-bone crash on the old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Convertible and hatchback collided at Oliver Road on Saturday afternoon, impacting traffic

Local poet and VIU professor Sonnet L’Abbé wrote and performed a song as part of the city’s Reimagine Nanaimo campaign. (Photo courtesy City of Nanaimo/Port Theatre)
Poet pens song as part of city’s Reimagine Nanaimo campaign

Sonnet L’Abbé encourages a friend to move to the city in ‘Nazaneen: A Song for Nanaimo’

Janice Perrino, Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation CEO, holds information brochures for the Light the Trees campaign, part of an effort to raise $5 million for the new intensive care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Million-dollar donation has Light the Trees campaign off to a bright start in Nanaimo

Windsor Plywood Foundation supports Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A rendering of a restaurant building making up part of a development permit application for 113 and 161 Island Highway in Parksville. (IAG Developments image)
Development application delayed for high-profile Parksville property

Council refers restaurant/RV campground application to staff for further improvements

Most Read